In Final Push, Silber Attacks, Weld Questions His TemperamentCECI CONNOLLY , Associated Press
Nov. 5, 1990 2:51 AM ET
BOSTON (AP) _ With polls showing the governor's race tightening, Democrat John Silber is slugging as hard as ever. Republican William Weld thinks his opponent is in danger of knocking himself out.
In a string of local and national TV appearances, the hard-bitten Silber denounced one reporter, corrected another, demanded an apology from CBS and said Weld would cry if he were subjected to similar media scrutiny.
On the CBS Sunday talk show ''Face the Nation,'' Silber told reporter Leslie Stahl she had misrepresented his attitudes about Jews, blacks and working women.
''The voters out there know perfectly well I'm totally in control and I just nailed you for three distortions on which somebody ought to nail you,'' he said.
A stunned Stahl replied ''wow'' several times, observing: ''You're angry; you sound angry.''
When it came Weld's turn to appear, Stahl asked, ''Are you going to attack me?''
The former federal prosecutor reserved his criticism for Silber, suggesting, as he often has, the Boston University president is too unstable to govern.
''Just because someone may demonstrate a lot of ill humor, that doesn't prove they're going to have the ability to go and change the system,'' Weld said.
A poll released Sunday by the Boston Globe and WBZ-TV gave Silber 44 percent to 41 percent for Weld, well within the margin of error of plus or minus three points. Independent Len Umina had 3 percent, and 12 percent were undecided.
Silber has led throughout in this predominantly Democratic state. In a poll released last Tuesday, Silber had 46 percent and Weld 37 percent. That poll had a four-point margin of error.
Polls show Weld gaining support with liberal Democrats for his views on abortion, the environment and day care.
Silber, speaking on a local TV station, said later Sunday that CBS owed him an apology for implying he believes Jews are racist and for saying he offended women with statements about how the feminist movement has led to child abuse.
''If anything were left of the libel laws and the laws of slander, I would retire on the assets of CBS,'' he said. Silber also said, ''If you beat up on Bill Weld a little while the way I have been beat up on, I think he'll cry.''
A CBS spokeswoman, Catherine Upin, responded, ''We stand by the accuracy of our broadcast.'' Stahl had questioned Silber on comments he made several years ago that he felt unwelcome at a synagogue because his mother was not Jewish.
As the campaign draws to an end, Silber has stepped up his attacks on Weld, characterizing him as an ''orange-headed WASP'' and a ''back-stabbing SOB.''
Weld countered over the weekend: ''The voters are considering whether they want to be yelled at for four years. I don't think they do.''